This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
The models used by Willow Creek and Saddleback are not models I will probably use in my next church. They aren't me. They aren't the models that will work for the people I am sent to. I need to find a different model that works in my situation. But, that does not at all negate the models used by Hybels and Warren. I'm not as familiar with Hybels, but I'm quite familiar with Warren's work. One of the big points he makes in his book is that it's not about the model and that if you simply copy his model, you're missing the point. It's the philosophy behind Saddleback that makes it a great church in the community in which it exists. Frankly, I don't think the problem was ever with Hybels or Warren. I think the problem is with pastors who fall to the temptation of greed and are more interested in profits than discipleship, in status than service. Instead of taking the time to both listen to God and the wisdom of men who have gone before them, they talk of nothing other than how to get through the current "plateau" and grow to the next bigger size. And, I agree with McClaren. There is no postmodern church/pastor. There is Godly church. There is a Godly pastor. We happen to live in a time of transition where we see both modern and postmodern around us. Many of us see the world through a postmodern paradigm. Yet, our identity is still in Christ, not in the philoshophy of the world. Be thankful for men like Hybels and Warren. Use the tools and training they offer. But don't be a clone. Be who God made you to be. Lead His church in your community.